Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More on the Cost Benefits of Going Paperless

How much money do you spend making copies?

Our averages here at a school of around 800 students:

Copy paper, colored paper, 11 x 17 paper, & staples = $ 14,500.00 per year
Toner = $ 1, 350.00 per year
Annual service contract for printers = $ 8,400.00 per year

Total = $24,250 per year

You might think this is an exaggeration, but I've talked to many educators who work in faculties of around 60 teachers where the standard max paper use before you need to ask for an extension is 15,000 copies per year. That means that the school fixes its budget on the idea that teachers are going to make on average 83 copies per day. In a faculty of 60, that averages to just shy of five-thousand copies a day.


  1. That's insane. I can add to that cost. We have a "copy person" at our school who spends about 1/2 her day making copies for the staff. I don't know the exact salary but it must be close to $25,000.

    That means were pay $12,500 for time and just over $36,000 year for all of our copying needs. That's almost another teacher's salary.

  2. I am putting together a Moodle initiative for our district of roughly 12000 students. I asked our environmental manager for some data on our paper use. From March 08- Present, we have blown through almost 4700 cases! Some quick math: 4700 cases x 10 reams per case x 2" high per ream amounts to a stack of reams over 7800 feet high. The Sears tower is something like 1700 feet high (with antennas too). I don't even want to calculate the costs.

  3. I have just started going "paperless" in my two 8th grade technology classes. We have a class blog at where we are documenting how much paper we use for our projects.

    I have been following this blog and enjoy the information. I have a supportive principal but would appreciate all of the data available to show the cost savings of going paperless. My goal is to convert my whole school and then the district. I know it will take data to prove the savings before the district will spring for more computers.

  4. kax - I'd recommend asking you business office how much paper costs the district. I asked ours and it averages $32/ case (10 reams). You could break this down into sheets and have the kids do the math. Also, you could do a calculation on how many trees you are sparing (I haven't found a definitive number for this yet so if anyone has a reference, much appreciated).


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